Turkey To Freeze Ties with Israel
Turkey is preparing to freeze ties with Israel, halting military cooperation with the Jewish state and not returning its ambassador, Turkish media on Wednesday reported. The Turkish government said it is discussing ways to punish Israel following the May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship that left nine Turkish activists dead.
"We took a series of decisions covering military, diplomatic and political pressure and measures," The Star quoted a source as saying. The newspaper also reported that several military agreements, including a plane and tank modernization and missile projects worth $7.5 billion would be frozen. Joint military and pilot training in addition to intelligence sharing will also be stopped. Gradual sanctions against the Israel will also be introduced.
Some Turkish officials have reportedly suggested requiring Israeli tourists to obtain visas to enter the country. Israelis are currently not required to purchases visas to enter Turkey, Israel's top foreign vocation destination.
Other Turkish officials have called on the government to bar Israeli ships from docking at Turkish ports. Additional Turkish moves may include canceling civil cooperation such as education, sports, and cultural agreements.